Nova Scotia

Bigfoot Town draws Netflix interest to Berwick in Annapolis Valley

A television series shot in Berwick is drawing attention to the small town in the Annapolis Valley.

'Everybody that's here ... are really doing it for the love and the belief that it can be done here'

Gillian Hazlewood and Todd Detcheverry are actors on the series Bigfoot Town, which is shot in Berwick. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

A television series shot in Berwick is drawing attention to the small town in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. 

The cast members behind Bigfoot Town say they're intent on keeping it close to home. Actor Sandy Buchan said the production company, Screaming Goat, is being helped by a volunteer cast. 

"Everybody that's here right now in this production, on this current film, are really doing it for the love and the belief that it can be done here," he said.  

Show creator Graig Brenton has said Netflix is prepared to air the show in the fall if all episodes are filmed and approved in time.

Netflix offered to buy pilot, says creator

He clarified Tuesday that Netflix offered to buy the pilot episode. Brenton said the offer excited Screaming Goat but it was not large enough to convince the company to sell the distribution rights at that time. 

Brenton wouldn't disclose how much Netflix offered for the pilot, but said a typical offer is between $7,000 and $500,000. 

"It was really small. We knew it was going to be small, because we're new," he said. "We've made a lot of mistakes but we've learned — and we're better for it now."

Hoping to sell whole package

Brenton said Netflix agreed to watch the rest of the series if Screaming Goat completed it. The company decided to do so, hoping to sell the entire package. 

"We didn't want to be a one-hit wonder here, with just one episode," he said.

However, Brenton said Screaming Goat has not finalized a deal with Netflix and is exploring where it can get the best distribution deal. 

"It just depends on where the money is," he said.

In response to a question about Bigfoot Town, a Netflix spokesperson replied that nothing is confirmed at the moment.

Lifelong dream 20 minutes down the road

In the series, a small town's mayor perpetuates a Sasquatch-sighting myth to try to bring in tourists and money. Now, art imitates life as people who live in the area hope the series will put Berwick on the map.

Actor Todd Detcheverry lives nearby and said the series creator had the opportunity to take production elsewhere, but chose to keep it small and hire local people. 

"For me to get up in the morning and come to do something that I love to do, a lifelong dream just 20 minutes down the road, it's amazing," he said. 

'They're talking about Bigfoot Town'

At Jonny King's cookhouse and ice cream shop in Berwick, he's hearing a lot of buzz about the new show. Some scenes were shot in his restaurant. 

"A lot of people are coming and they're asking about it. So even people who come into the restaurant to eat, they're talking about Bigfoot Town," he said.  

The cast will also be shooting a feature film starting in June. 

In the series, a small town's mayor perpetuates a Sasquatch-sighting myth to try to bring in tourists and money. Now, art imitates life as people who live in the area hope the series will put Berwick on the map. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this article implied Netflix will be distributing Bigfoot Town. In fact, the creator says Screaming Goat has not sold any distribution rights to Netflix as of May 17, and is still seeking a distributor.
    May 17, 2016 1:22 PM AT

With files from Stephanie Blanchet, Radio-Canada

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